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The Shadow Queen, by C.J. Redwine: Review

Lorelai Diederich, Princess of Ravenspire, is a survivor, a warrior, and a fugitive of the murderous queen whose magic killed Lorelai's father. Queen Irina's power has sapped Ravenspire of life, leaving desolation and despair in its wake. Only a challenger with magic to match hers has a hope of wresting the kingdom from her poisoned grip . . . and after years of hiding in shadows, biding her time, Lorelai is ready and coming for her throne.

In the neighbouring kingdom of Eldr, Prince Kolvanismir is thrust onto the throne in a whirlwind of sudden tragedy. Now the king of a threatened kingdom has only one place to turn—to the wicked Ravenspire queen with the power to make him her huntsman, and Lorelai's heart his prey . . . if she doesn't steal his first.

The Ravenspire series came highly recommended as a gem of the clean fantasy genre, and I am happy to add this exciting Snow White retelling to the repertoire. Though, admittedly, it took me a little longer than usual to get into the story and really connect with the characters, once I did, I delighted in Lorelai and Kol's bond, the exciting manifestations of magic in Redwine's world, and the skillfully descriptive writing. I came to love the characters immensely, especially once they began to truly connect; Kol is sensitive yet ferociously capable, while Lorelai is a true warrior with a heart for the hurting. Their relationship—especially the telepathic element (love it!)—is perfectly sweet, clever, compassionate, strong and romantic in all the best ways.

Also, Kol is a dragon. Enough said.

Content Notes: other than some tame innuendo, some disturbing moments, and the unfortunate fact that Kol and his fellow "Draconi" are buck-naked when they shift into human-form from dragon-form, this book is as clean as YA fantasy gets! Woot-woot!

Clean Read Rating: 5 stars!

I would absolutely recommend The Shadow Queen as an intense, fast-paced and elegantly-woven fairytale retelling. I look forward to Ravenspire #2!

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